SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s program to house the homeless in hotels throughout the pandemic might be coming to an end, as the city will gradually start moving them out.
On September 25, interim director of the homeless services department, Abigail Stewart-Kahn, announced that the city will gradually start transitioning homeless out of rooms. Some of the hotels will be cleaned and re-organized in order to welcome back guests towards the end of the year.
In April, the city of San Francisco created this hotel program for the homeless in an effort to keep the city’s homeless population safe during the pandemic, as tenants could have their own space and safely social distance while slowing the spread of the coronavirus. This was designed to be a temporary measure. Since April, the city has leased 28 hotels for this program, with approximately 2,340 rooms which are being used as “shelter-in-place” rooms for individuals who would otherwise be homeless.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office has outlined a plan that seeks to help them transition to other options. On September 22, Mayor Breed announced the following plan via Twitter:
“Our Homelessness Recovery Plan includes: Expanding housing options, adding shelter system capacity, prevention & rapid rehousing. By expanding access to housing & supports, we can help people to get off the streets & create a path for them to live a fuller, healthier life.”
The city has also secured funding and purchased multiple premises from California’s Project Homekey. This will allow them to use these locations for permanent supportive housing, which is also part of Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan.